Pandemic Body Surfing
“Business as usual” is not a realistic approach right now and this includes how we interact with employees.”
Pandemic body surfing is one way to think about how to manage our lives right now.
When you body surf, you wade through the shallow water getting deeper and deeper until you eventually have to start swimming. Once you are past where the waves break, you float; looking at the waves coming toward you. You are always assessing risk and reward. The environment is constantly changing. Eventually, you commit to a wave that takes you back to shore.
Sometimes the ride is smooth and sometimes it is more turbulent. With each wave, you learn a lesson and apply those lessons as you take on more waves.
In our business world today, new information and scenarios appear like the waves on the horizon. The rate of change is faster than ever before. Our brains are being stretched right now. They are having to continually adapt to changing guidelines in our personal and professional lives.
“Business as usual” is not a realistic approach right now and this includes how we interact with employees. So now is the time for
Patience with each other. Give grace when mistakes are made and employees are irritable.
Flexibility. Be open to new ways of doing things, and find adaptations that take into account new challenges to productivity.
Communication. Be thoughtful with your words and inform employees frequently as things change.
By modeling behavior that respects the new world we are in and the very human limitations we have right now, leaders help build their employees’ ability to ride the pandemic wave.
What ways have you had to change your approach with employees during the pandemic? We’d love to hear your experiences.